General advice for carers
All these sites offer broad advice including caring for someone who is dying, managing finances, funerals and bereavement support. By looking through them you should find an organisation that suits you. This list, which is in alphabetical order, is not exhaustive and you may find a number of similar organisations, especially locally that suit you. The links are provided at the end.
Do not be afraid to ask for help. They are there for you.
Cancer research UK is a national charity that aims to tackle cancer through research, helping people and improving the lives of cancer sufferers and their carers. A lot of the advice is not only for patients with cancer but helps for those caring for any person who is dying.
In particular the section on what happens in the final days of life is very informative and will help you to understand what is happening as the person you are caring for enters the final few days of their life. There is also very good information on Coping with Death and Grief, and Coping Practically.
Carers UK is a national charity set up to be the voice of carers. They campaign for carers to bring about change nationally and locally. They also provide information, including about your entitlement to benefits, and have a free, confidential telephone advice line: 0808 802 0202
This is an online resource providing information about caring, where to get support, how to maintain your wellbeing and a life of your own, a carers forum where you can exchange information with other carers and receive support.
The Citizens Advice Bureau Service offers free, independent and confidential advice. It helps solve problems which are central to people’s lives. You can find your nearest branch in the telephone book, at the library or on line at the CAB web directory.
This is the official government web site for citizens. If you click on ‘caring for someone’ you will find information for carers including caring and support services, money matters, carers rights and employment, caring for disabled children and looking after yourself. It also provides a link to a number of charities for carers. It is easy to use and provides information on a wide range of other topics. There is also extensive and useful information on dealing with a death including advice on registering a death, dealing with post mortems and the coroner's office, a checklist of who to inform and lots of other useful information.
Age Concern and Help the Aged are two renowned international charities that provide a wide range of advice to support older people and their families, including at the end of life. They have now merged and from Spring 2010 the four national organisations across the UK‚ will be called Age UK‚ Age Cymru‚ Age NI and Age Scotland. Until then‚ it will continue using the joint branding of Age Concern and Help the Aged.
The new organisation covers topics relating to finance, planning for death, advice and support for carers.
The If I Should Die website was created in 2001 to provide as much independent practical information and support as possible and is not linked to a particular religion, philosophy or 'angle' such as financial planning. It is aimed at everyone, whether they are considering their own death, coping with the death of a loved one, arranging a funeral, thinking about making a will or just needing some comforting words to help write a letter to a bereaved friend or family member.
Help the Hospices are the leading charity supporting hospice care throughout the UK. If you are a patient, carer or have an interest in hospice and palliative care, this organisation can provide further information. Help the Hospices’ vision is that everyone at the end of life has access to the best possible care and so offer services to support hospice and palliative care professionals as they support their patients.
Macmillan Cancer Support is a national charity that has been established for many years to improve the lives of people affected by cancer. They provide practical, medical and financial support and push for better cancer care.
Go their website and click on ‘I’m caring for someone’. There you will find information on talking to someone with cancer, working while caring, and caring for someone with advanced cancer. There is also information for anyone who has just been diagnosed with cancer or is worried they might have it, as well as information on how to get involved in supporting Macmillan.
They also produce a really helpful guide for carers called ‘Hello, and How Are You?’ This covers topics such as information and support, moods and emotions, relationships, life after caring and many others. You can get it either by calling 0800 500 800 or visiting www.be.macmillan.org.uk
Marie Curie employs more than 2,700 nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals, provides care to around 25,000 terminally ill patients in the community and in their hospices this year, along with support for their families.
They mainly care for people with cancer but also care for people with other life limiting illnesses. Their services are always free of charge to patients and their families.
The charity is best known for its network of Marie Curie Nurses working in the community to provide end-of-life care for patients in their own homes.
The Marie Curie website provides a wide range of information and links to other organisations that can help.
The Princess Royal Trust for Carers was created on the initiative of HRH The Princess Royal in 1991. At that time people caring at home for family members or friends with disabilities and chronic illnesses were scarcely recognised as requiring support.
The Princess Royal Trust for Carers is the largest provider of comprehensive carers support services in the UK. It has a network of 144 independently managed Carers' Centres, 85 young carers services and interactive websites.
There is also an excellent section for young carers with advice and support.